An Act To Support Access to Health Services for Homeless Youth in Maine
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §1503, sub-§1, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §8 and affected by Pt. E, §2, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
(1) A director or designee of a governmental or nonprofit agency that receives public or private funding to provide services to homeless persons;
(2) A local education agency liaison for homeless children and youth designated pursuant to 42 United States Code, Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) or a school social worker or counselor; or
(3) An attorney representing the minor in any legal matter;
Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §1503, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §8 and affected by Pt. E, §2, is amended by adding at the end a new paragraph to read:
A health care practitioner who provides medical, mental, dental or other health counseling or services to a minor pursuant to this section and can demonstrate compliance with this section is immune from any civil or criminal liability based on the health care practitioner's determination to provide the services, except that a health care practitioner may be held liable for the health care practitioner's gross negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions. The consent given under this section is not subject to later disaffirmance solely by reason of the minor's minority.
Under current law, a minor who has been living separately from parents or legal guardians for at least 60 days and is independent of parental support may provide consent to all medical, mental, dental and other health counseling and services.
This bill allows a minor to provide consent to all medical, mental, dental and other health counseling and services by proving that the minor is living separately and is independent of parental support through various means such as a written, signed statement to that fact from the director of a governmental or nonprofit agency that provides services to homeless persons or an attorney representing the minor or proof of filing for emancipation.
This bill also provides immunity to a health care practitioner who provides services to a minor if the minor consented to those services and provided proof of living separately and independently. Finally, this bill prohibits a minor or other person from disaffirming the consent given by the minor solely because the minor is a minor.